Domino’s Pizza Case Study- reputation management online
Domino’s Pizza Crisis 2009 • On Sunday the 12th of April 2009, two Domino’s employees from a branch in North Carolina upload a film on YouTube • The footage is filmed while they are at work, showing disturbing images of themselves violating health codes with unsanitary actions, whilst preparing foodAbove: An image of the footage that was available e.g. putting cheese up his nosefrom YouTube before the video was removed before putting it into sandwich etc.
Domino’s online crisis • The video becomes a viral sensation with more than a million hits on YouTube 3 days after it was uploaded (source NYTIMES.COM) • Hoax has ripple effect in social media bleeding into conversations in twitter, other social media forums and mainstream media • 65% of respondents who had visited Dominos Pizza say they would not visit Dominos Pizza after seeing video (source Wall Street Journal, HCD research, 2009)
Timeline of Dominos responseDate EventApril 12, 2009 • Video posted to YouTube. • Video reaches 29,000 views within hours of posting.April 13, 2009 • Domino’s is alerted to video by the Consumerist.com (Monday morning) • Domino’s identifies location of store where the video was filmed. (Monday Evening)April 14, 2009 • Hammonds and Setzer (employees) fired by Domino’s • Health department and local police contacted by Domino’s • Twitter traffic becomes noticeable • Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the video jumps from 29,000 views to 700,000April 15, 2009 • Video surpasses 1 million views. • Video is removed from YouTube by Hammonds. • Hammonds and Setzer face felony charges for distributing prohibited foods and report to Conover Police. • The hoax is found in 5 of the top 12 search results presented by Google to users. • Twitter account is created by Domino’s • Domino’s CEO (Patrick Doyle) responds in a YouTube video. • Domino’s video response has 330,000 views when first press conference is held.April 17, 2009 • Wikipedia entry for Domino’s was found to contain information about the hoax posted by an unofficial individual.April 20, 2009 • A copy of the original video posted by Hammonds has 345,000 views.April 20, 2009 • The video remains accessible on the Internet in its entirety. Source: management communication quarterly (SAGE) – 4th December 2011
Why didn’t Domino’s respond faster?”Two things we didn’t anticipate. The first thing we didn’t anticipate was the pass-along value, or the pass-along nature of this particular video, because there was a lot of “Man, you ought to see this going on.” And the sheer explosion of interest from the traditional media.” Tim McIntyre, Vice President, Communications, Dominos Pizza
A hoax is a threat• A false claim can become a real threat – Even though the company knew the claim was false, the public perceived it as being real • The video was plausible• Imagine your nightmare scenarios – Avoid a meteor crisis
Do Domino’s deliver during crisis? What Dominos Pizza did wrong Delayed reaction – alert was heard late - Silent when answers were needed • Reacted after they were contacted by consumer affairs blog site Lack of strategy for digital crisis management • Fault or lack of online surveillance • Lack of social media presence • Lack of employee policy on social media use and communication • Lack of overview on main online influencers What Dominos Pizza did right Response through traditional media and social media - CEO video response on YouTube targeted core audience • Changed discourse to ’how companies should deal with hoax crisis’ in mainstream media Created a twitter account • to engage in dialogue with consumers and respond to negative comments
PRventive• Act fast• Not enough to proactively use internet as a communication platform• Need to use your eyes and ears and listen to all the conversations – not only the ones which you are engaged in